Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Indian Health Service (Department of Health and Human Services)
Posted: September 12, 2020

The Indian Health Service has updated its coronavirus data, showing results as of September 10, 2020.

According to the data, 44,167 tests have returned positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That represents an increase of 0.64 percent from the 43,888 cases previously reported by the IHS.

Altogether, 718,023 coronavirus tests have been administered through September 10, the data shows. That marks an increase of 1 percent from the day prior.

Overall, almost 6.2 percent of IHS coronavirus tests have returned positive, according to the data. But the rate is far higher in the Phoenix Area, where 14.7 percent are positive.

Next is the Navajo Area, which serves the largest reservation in the United States. But even with 13.7 percent of tests returning positive, the rate has fallen steadily over the last couple of months, following a noticeable decline as the region with the highest rate.

The Tucson Area, which covers southern Arizona, shows a high positive rate of almost 8.8 percent. It recently overtook the Nashville Area as the region with the third highest rate within the IHS system. The Portland Area,  though, also has a comparably high rate of 8 percent.

Still, the high rates in the Phoenix, Navajo and Tucson regions indicate a disproportionate toll of the coronavirus among IHS patients in the state of Arizona.

On the other end of the spectrum, aggressive efforts in the Alaska Area are turning up very few cases. Out of 162,781 tests administered in Alaska, only 0.86 percent have returned positive, the data shows.

The Alaska Area also far outnumbers every other area — including Navajo —  in terms of tests administered. The Oklahoma City Area remains in the second spot.

The data, however, is incomplete. While 100 percent of facilities run directly by the IHS are reporting data, only 33 percent of tribally managed facilities and 44 percent of urban Indian organizations are doing the same, the agency has told Indianz.Com.

The agency also provided to Indianz.Com the service population for 2019: 2,562,290. Based on that figure, 28 percent of American Indians and Alaska Natives have been tested for the coronavirus since the IHS began reporting data in March.

The IHS user population, on the other hand, is a much smaller number. As of 2019, 1,662,834 American Indians and Alaska Natives have lived within a service delivery area and have received health care at an IHS or tribal facility during the previous three years.

Based on the user population, almost 43.2 percent of Native Americans have been tested for the coronavirus since the IHS began reporting data in March.

COVID-19 Cases by IHS Area

Data are reported from IHS, tribal, and urban Indian organization facilities, though reporting by tribal and urban programs is voluntary. Data reflect cases reported to the IHS through 11:59 pm on September 10, 2020.

IHS Area Tested Positive Negative
Alaska 162,781 1,400 141,677
Albuquerque 39,667 1,739 28,352
Bemidji 45,064 1,264 41,582
Billings 52,966 1,805 47,457
California 10,717 672 9,255
Great Plains 57,515 2,561 54,182
Nashville 25,373 1,936 22,781
Navajo 82,900 11,368 63,512
Oklahoma City 142,863 9,361 130,695
Phoenix 62,228 9,128 51,257
Portland 29,243 2,346 26,129
Tucson 6,706 587 6,011
TOTAL 718,023 44,167 622,890

Source: (Indian Health Service)

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